THE FINAL CRIT  | Events Calendar

Claire Bishop, Mira Schor, Rit Premnath, and Roger White. Moderated by Howard Singerman

Tribeca / Downtown

Hunter College MFA Building | 205 Hudson Street

Curated by Izabela Gola, Janna Dyk, & Rafael Kelman

Panelists include Claire Bishop, Mira Schor, Rit Premnath, and Roger White. Moderated by Howard Singerman.

Organized by Izabela Gola, Janna Dyk, & Rafael Kelman.


When: Thursday, May 28, 2015, 7-9pm; Reception begins at 6:30pm
Where: 205 Hudson Street Gallery (entrance on Canal Street)
Directions: take the N/Q/R/6/1/A/C/E to Canal Street, and walk West

THE FINAL CRIT // Description

Dear Crit, we don’t know whether to miss you or not. You will always be inside of us, somewhere.

This discursive event will revolve around the definition of artistic subjectivities through, against, and beyond the institution of the MFA program. We hold it in conjunction with our thesis exhibition with an eye towards one peculiar quality of such a show: there is perhaps no other kind of grouping of works that has undergone or grown out of such intensive, formalized critical discussion. As such, this panel will make use of “The Crit” as a point of entry to think about how the university shapes ways of making, seeing, and speaking about art, particularly given the historically unique position of the MFA as a near-necessity for professional artists.

Most of our time within the walls of the university are spent engaged in critique--that is, particular kinds of conversation about each other’s art, determined in a more or less hierarchical process by a professor. What becomes of this training when we leave? Does critical engagement persist if we are subjected to the pressures of the art market? Can we tell each other the truth about one another’s art in the equally fraught economy of social capital? Is the teacher-student hierarchy replaced or mirrored by new hierarchies outside of the university? What becomes of attempts to problematize or do away with this hierarchy? Or do the Crit and the University permeate and even construct value and subjectivity within all of these spheres?

Following an informal reception in the gallery, the panelists and audience will convene. To begin, each of the four panelists is invited to give a 15 minute presentation. We are interested in trying to focus on subjective experience in this section of the panel, with presentations loosely structured around the form of the anecdote; that is, we invite the panelists to relate one or two instances of their own engagement in (or radical disengagement from) a process of critique that had particularly profound repercussions for their own practices, pedagogy, or modes of thought about art. This engagement could be lodged from the position of teacher, student, friend, critic, or subject of critique, or some combination of these roles. It could be a situation that took place within the university context, or without. It could be a situation that looked like a traditional crit, or it could be an alternative structure, or a wholesale rejection of critique as such. We are particularly interested in moments of epiphany or crisis, though we understand that such “moments” might actually span a period of years in some cases. Are there times when the limits of language become particularly evident? Are there times when language takes on unforeseen powers? The panelists are welcome to prepare images or digital media to accompany their presentation if they deem it appropriate. (Please do notify us in advance if you do wish to do so.)

After gathering these specific, lived experiences of the function of critique in various times and contexts and bodies, we will turn to a moderated discussion in which we will seek to situate and analyze such situations within broader trends and resistances, to think about what kinds of conversations we want to have about art, why we should have them, where they could take place, and how we might cultivate them.